In Niger, Guterres calls for more resources to fight terror attacks in Africa’s Sahel — Global Issues

Speaking after meeting Niger’s President, Mohamed Bazoum, he said that “the international community must recognize” that terrorism is “is not just a regional or African problem, but one that threatens the whole world. ”

Peace, stability, prosperity

He reiterated his call for more resources to tackle the issue and said that “peace, stability and prosperity in Niger and across the Sahel remains an absolute priority for the United Nations.”

President Mohamed Bazoum acknowledged Mr Guterres’ commitment to finding a solution to the problem of terrorism, saying it was “dynamic and has evolved and we need to adjust our response. ”

Meanwhile, the former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufouagreed to the request from the President of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, ledn Joint African Union (AU)-UN Strategic Review on Security in the Sahel, focusing on developing recommendations on how to strengthen the overall international response to the security crisis in the Sahel .

The review will be carried out in consultation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Joint Secretariat of Five (G5).

Civilians are victims

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrives in Niamey, Niger, on a three-country tour of West Africa.

The UN says that the insecurity in Niger is being fueled by a number of different actors and, as the UN chief noted, “common people are the first victims” when violence occurs. Figures show that nearly eight out of ten victims of attacks are civilians.

A variety of radical armed groups are active mainly in the Tillabéri, Tahoua and Diffa regions in the northwest, south and southeast of the country. In the southern Maradi region, armed groups operating from Nigeria regularly cross the border to carry out raids; Armed robbers inside Niger are also a significant threat.

In 2021, the Global Terrorism Index attributes 588 deaths in Niger to terrorism, the highest number of terrorism-related deaths in the past decade. In the Tillabéri region, the number of deaths more than doubled between 2020 and 2021.

Not safe is is just part of what the Secretary-General calls “a multi-dimensional crisis of extraordinary scale.” Climate change, increasing food insecurity, malnutrition and record-high food prices, as a result of the war in Ukraine, have all contributed to unprecedented humanitarian needs.

Women in Niger prepare fields for the rainy season as part of an initiative to combat desertification.

© FAO / Giulio Napolitano

Women in Niger prepare fields for the rainy season as part of an initiative to combat desertification.

The UN said the number The number of people with profound food insecurity has more than doubled since 2020and it is estimated that 15% of Niger’s population of 25 million will need humanitarian assistance by 2022.

In a country where 80% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, insecurity and climate changes have contributed to their inability to feed themselves.

The 2019 Human Development Index, which measures indicators of life expectancy, education and income, ranked Niger as the least developed of the 189 countries on the list.

Hope for the future

Despite the many challenges facing Niger, the UN Secretary-General told the media in Niamey that there is still “hope” and that the UN must live up to that hope and support the young people of Nigeriens, and especially women. women, access opportunities to create a better life. Future.

He say “a positive dynamic in Niger “could lead to a cycle of moral change” Across the region.

Mr. Guterres continued to Nigeria on Tuesday.

The UN needs to respond to the hopes of young Nigeriens.

© UNICEF / Frank Dejongh

The UN needs to respond to the hopes of young Nigeriens.

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